Penguins have internal candidates to counter failed roster decisions with group of bottom forwards


Entering tonight’s game vs the Vancouver Canucks Pittsburgh carries an 11-8-3 record as a reliance on the power play and some 3-on-3 overtime wins have inflated that win total a bit. The Penguins are in a bit of a two-fold situation. They have won back-to-back Stanley Cups so there shouldn’t any panic in late November, but the mentality of how this roster has been built has trickled back to the 2014-2015 season mentality from the General Manager and it could have long-term implications on the Penguins chances of three-peating. Pittsburgh’s bottom-6 center situation is what it is but where the Penguins have hindered themselves has been going away from more skilled players in the bottom-6. The coaching staff is handcuffed right now with Ryan Reaves. Mike Sullivan is fine with playing Reaves but where a rift is starting between the coaching staff and management While Jim Rutherford doesn’t interfere muchRead More »

Penguins discussing trade options to add No. 2/3 type caliber NHL goaltender


Penguins looking to bolster organizational goaltending depth Are the Penguins content moving forward with Matt Murray, Tristan Jarry and Casey DeSmith as the 1-3 goaltenders on the organizational depth chart? Penguin coaches saw enough of Casey DeSmith in practice and with Tristan Jarry’s inexperience, the coaching brass is not comfortable with the Penguins goaltending depth in the organization, sources tell Inside Pittsburgh Sports. With difficulties of adding a legitimate No. 2 goaltender at this stage of the season, that has the Penguins in the short-term at least evaluating trades for a netminder on a

On winger duo of Sheary/Hornqvist & Saturday’s good test for the Penguins 3rd line


Can it Last? Penguins have an impactful 3rd line this week The Pittsburgh Penguins have rattled off two straight wins, a 5-4 come from behind win Tuesday night vs the Sabres and then a 3-1 win over the Senators Thursday night. Tuesday’s win kind of summed up the Penguins season. Very sloppy play for long stretches, frustrating goals allowed at in-opportune times (early and late in periods) but with their high-end talent, when the Penguins feel motivated to play, they can turn it on out of nowhere especially against bad teams. Thursday’s win was more of a playoff style low scoring game with great goaltending from Matt Murray this team has been so accustomed to winning the last two seasons. In a game where the Senators and Penguins each created just 5 high danger scoring chances during 5 vs 5 play, Pittsburgh got a deflection goal from Patric Hornqvist (7)Read More »

Latest Pens Buzz: Kessel delivering amid summer trade talk; League chatter on Letang & Latest Trade Rumblings


Kessel delivering amid minor trade talk from the summer The Pittsburgh Penguins made no attempt this summer behind the scenes to quiet the Phil Kessel speculation that despite a 70 point season and the club winning a second consecutive Stanley Cup, the relationship was a bit tenuous. In fact, rival clubs believe the Penguins were putting some of the Kessel trade talk out there as a away to send a message to the player. While the Penguins did in fact have trade talks with clubs about Kessel around late June/early July, the most substantive talks with the One goaltender trade scenario that was discussed last winter prior to the deadline that would have had an impact on the goaltending situation for this season. Marc Andre Fleury going to Calgary and — Former Penguins netminder Antti Niemi is back on waivers. He made two appearances with Florida, stopping 34 of 39Read More »

Takeaways: Guentzel, Kessel need to stay parked in the top-6


Penguins 3 – Coyotes 1 A Justin Schultz goal 59 seconds into the game from an awful angle and then an Evgeni Malkin goal 2:08 later, the Penguins looked primed to have a big stats day against what some call the ‘AHL’ Coyotes. Things, though, didn’t exactly play out that way as the Penguins would find themselves involved in a one-goal game early in the third period before Phil Kessel scored a power play goal at 6:06 of the third period to put the Penguins ahead 3-1. The Penguins improved to 9-6-2 with the 3-1 victory. The Coyotes are an NHL worst 2-13-2. It wasn’t a great performance from the Penguins considering the opponent playing the second of a back-to-back but teams often have inconsistent games when first returning home from a long road trip. Pittsburgh was led by three point nights from Evgeni Malkin (Goal, 2 assists) and PhilRead More »

Rumors: Penguins made hard push over the weekend to try to acquire Matt Duchene


Penguins GM Jim Rutherford has a knack of staying in the mix for a trade target until the end and that continued in the Matt Duchene trade talks. Last year prior to the deadline, Pittsburgh made late runs at Martin Hanzal/Kevin Shatterkirk (were finalists for both) and Pittsburgh’s off and on trade discussions with the Avalanche on Matt Duchene saw Pittsburgh make another late run at a big name. As the Avalanche re-engaged the Penguins in trade talks last month, once word circulated around the league that a three-team deal on Friday between the Avs/Predators/Senators was dead (false alarm), Pittsburgh made a hard push to land Duchene over the weekend, league sources confirm. Trade discussions remained active between the Penguins and Avalanche as late as Saturday night. While Pittsburgh’s offer didn’t match the quantity the Avalanche received in the three-team deal, whispers around the league is Pittsburgh offered a strongRead More »

Winners & Losers from the Duchene Blockbuster Deal


Winners of COL/OTT/NSH Blockbuster deal While Colorado Avalanche General Manager Joe Sakic has been criticized for months around the league for his handling of the Matt Duchene situation, at the end of the day Sakic showed an ability to adapt from his initial asking price and land what many executives believe was a massive haul for Duchene. After turning down multiple deals since last year’s deadline, offers more centered around established NHL players, Joe Sakic’s patient approach might have drove Duchene, the fan base and even other clubs nuts throughout the process, but things fell perfectly into Colorado’s lap where a contract stalemate between the Senators and Kyle Turris opened the door for this blockbuster deal between the Avalanche, Predators and Senators to come to fruition. Of the three teams involved, Colorado and Nashville are the big winners: Colorado for one did better than many expected: In the deal theyRead More »

Latest Pens Buzz: Getting Malkin a winger still on priority list for management?


Penguins take get 3 of 4 points in back-to-back situation The Penguins ability to bounce back from blowout losses is another reason not to be overly concerned yet with how the Penguins level of play falls off a cliff in the second night of back-to-backs. For one, there are no back-to-backs in the postseason and as Wednesday’s 3-2 win vs the Oilers showed, when the Penguins have a dialed in focus, more often than not they find a way to get a “W” in tight games, similar to how difficult they have been to beat four out of seven times the last two post-seasons. And the Penguins followed up a gritty performance against the Oilers with a nice effort Thursday night against the Flames in a 2-1 overtime loss. Pittsburgh got to their speed game well and peppered Calgary with 44 shots as Flames netminder Mike Smith turned in aRead More »

Held to 1 Goal, Penguins blown out of the building again in a back-to-back


Jets 7 – Penguins 1 Starting your No. 1 goaltender in back-to-back games this early in the season isn’t always ideal and it sure back fired on Mike Sullivan and his staff. Matt Murray was pulled 18:07 into the game, allowing 4 goals on nine shots as the Penguins disastrous play in the second night of a back-to-back continued in a 7-1 loss to the Winnipeg Jets on Sunday night. Things continued to spiral seconds after Murray was yanked. Down 4-0 with a 1:53 left in the first period, Casey DeSmith entered the game for his NHL debut and eight seconds later Blake Wheeler scored his third of the night at 18:15 of the period to put the Jets up 5-0 as DeSmith allowed a goal on his first shot against. Via @Hockeynight, Wheeler became the fastest player in Jets history to record a hat trick. 10 shots in theRead More »

Rumors: Penguins were involved in serious trade talks with Sharks prior to Sheahan deal


Latest NHL Buzz — Coyotes head coach Rick Tocchet got a 4 year deal worth $1.75 million per season and he was an ownership hire. Even if the losing continues, now 0-10-1 on the season, he’s likely safe from Barry Melrose territory of getting fired 16 games in on the first year of a job. The Coyotes, though, are beyond just a mess right now. What a few scouts say is the Coyotes are playing at a faster pace under Tocchet than last year, but there hasn’t been a more poorly structured team and lack of hockey IQ on the ice as a whole in years than what evaluators have seen from the Coyotes this season. For significant stretches the Coyotes look like a group playing pick up hockey. It didn’t appear Tocchet was walking into such a dire situation but he’s now in one as changing a losing cultureRead More »